Iran News Round Up (May 1)

Politics

  • Reports on a widening gap between the Islamic Steadfastness Front and the United Principled Front in the run-up to the second round of the parliamentary elections:
    • The United Principled Front complains about SMS campaigns against the party, and accuses “deviant [Ahmadinejad supporters, including the Islamic Steadfastness Front], corrupt [Rafsanjani supporters], and seditionist groups [the reformist camp]” of negative campaigning against the front.
    • Bultan News, close to the Islamic Steadfastness Front, questions the revolutionary credentials of parliamentary candidate Alireza Zakani of the United Principled Front, and  depicts him as “someone who breaks bread with Hashemi [Rafsanjani].”
    • Farda News reports on conflicts within the Islamic Steadfastness Front: Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi warns against the current of deviation, a reference to Ahmadinejad, while Hojjat al-Eslam Mostafa Aqa-Tehrani dismisses such allegations against “the current of deviation.”
  • Parliamentary Speaker Ali Larijani reacts to Ahmadinejad’s circular in which the president asked the executive branch not to follow the instructions of the legislature:
    • “Yesterday the president issued an unnecessary circular… According to the constitution, the cabinet must submit its bills to the speaker of the parliament. Should there be a discrepancy between the bill and the spirit or text of the constitution, and should the bill not be corrected, that bill is null and void and [legislature asks the] executive branch not to enact it… Most of the bills of the cabinet are not contrary to the constitution, but some of them have differences with the constitution. This is not an issue which necessitates a brawl in the country…”
Diplomacy

  • Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast dismisses Saudi Arabia’s claim that the Islamic Republic tried to assassinate the Saudi Ambassador in Egypt:
    • “Baseless claims are made by states which do not take the interests of the world of Islam into consideration. This will only gladden the Zionist regimeand its backers.”
  • [E] Afghanistan’s Second Vice-President Mohammad Karim Khalili underlined the positive effects of his country’s economic ties and cooperation with Iran, and said that consolidation of the relations with Iran would open the way for Afghanistan’s progress and prosperity.
  • [E] Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani in separate meetings with Chinese and Afghan lawmakers underlined Iran’s readiness to cooperate with the two countries in the field of legislation.
  • [E] Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehman-Parast Tuesday lashed out at certain regional countries for arming Syrian rebels, and warned that these states intend to spark a civil war in the Arab country.
Military and Security

  • Ramezan Sharif, Revolutionary Guards Public Relations commander:
    • “Position of the Guards towards the parties, movements and political groups are totally transparent. And a historical and substantive investigation into the allegations made against the Guards would demonstrate the unreal and incorrect nature of those allegations… In accordance with its raison d’etre, the Guards considers itself the defender of the discourse of the Islamic revolution and the Guardianship of the Jurist, and is against discourses opposing the revolution and the Leader. Not tolerating this independent and legal position [of the Guards] has created the dissatisfaction and allegations made by some self interested individuals and currents… When suitable occasions arise, particularly in an election time, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps… considers it a duty to clarify its positions to the public opinion, so that it can frustrate the efforts of some self interested individuals and currents, who claim the Guards backs a particular group.”
  • Alireza Tangsiri, Revolutionary Guards Navy deputy, says foreign vessels passing through the Strait of Hormuz seek permission from the Revolutionary Guards Navy.
  • [E] The Deployment of the US F-22 stealth aircraft in Al Dafra Air Base in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a harmful move and disturbs regional security, senior Iranian defense officials cautioned.
Nuclear Issue

  • Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast:
    • “We have declared on numerous occasions that our negotiating team entered the talks with good will and our expectation from the parties of this negotiation is that they should demonstrate good will and cooperation. As we witnessed a spirit of cooperation in the Istanbul meetings, we hope that this spirit is preserved and the counterpart pursues the negotiations in a positive atmosphere.”
Economy

  • May 1st International Workers’ Day:
    • Receiving a group of reformist political activists on the occasion of the May 1st International Workers’ Day, Rafsanjani criticizes the government for increasing imports rather than supporting domestic production.
    • ILNA reports on a Labor seminar in which an Afghan child laborer working in Iran complains of not having the right to attend primary school in Iran.
  • Asr-e Iran releases a translation of a Reuters’ report that Iran’s oil production has reached a twenty year minimum as OPEC increases its oil production.
Religion, Society and Culture

  • Ahmadinejad inaugurates the Tehran International Book Fair.
    • Mohammad Hosseini, minister of culture and Islamic propagation, says only one Iranian publisher was barred from participating at the Book Fair. But many publishers such as Omid-e Farda, Ahang-e Digar, Kavir, Akhteran, and Agah claim they have not been allowed to participate.
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